Keeping Up With The Bedford Citizen: Welcome to Christine Speciale

Christine Speciale, The Beford Citizen’s Operations Manager Courtesy image (c) 2021 all rights reserved

The Bedford Citizen extends a warm welcome to Christine Speciale who has joined our staff as Operations Manager, replacing outgoing Elizabeth Hacala who served in the position for the prior two and a half years.

Speciale worked at the Hancock Nursery School in Lexington for 12 years as Business Manager where she oversaw the development and implementation of operational systems and best practices for the organization. Her responsibilities included all financial functions, participation in long-range planning, technology coordination, and brand building. When the pandemic hit she shifted gears to handle interim financial planning and PPP loan procurement and the development of remote learning platforms and resources.  Originally intending to leave in June of 2020, Speciale remained in her previous position until the fall of that year to assist with both school closure and subsequent re-opening plans. “We had to re-think everything,” she said. “It was an incredible process.”

Still, Speciale was ready for a change. She and her husband, Bill, had just seen the second of their two sons, Sam, off to college at the University of Lowell. The couple’s older son, Will, had just moved to Wisconsin for his first job after graduating from St. Louis University. Speciale was hoping to branch out from education into a new field offering different challenges; she was specifically thinking about non-profits. While working with Julie Turner, Managing Editor of The Citizen, on a series of articles about the Class of 2021 she became aware of the search for a new Operations Manager.“The job description looked like a great match for my skill set,” she said. “And I love Bedford and keeping up to date with all that’s going on.”

Six months in, Speciale reports she is happy with her choice. Recently, she added attendance at the weekly Editorial Committee meetings to her responsibilities. “I’ve learned a new appreciation for how stories come together, the attention to detail and getting it right. There are a lot of decisions around what to report and how best to report it and ensuring that all the information is accurate.”

“Adding Christine to our staff has been wonderful,” Teri Morrow, The Citizen’s new Executive Director,  reports.  “Her broad organizational experience is just what we need at this time to take the next steps into our future. She’s a find and we’re delighted to have her on board.”

Speciale keeps time in her schedule for “just-for-fun” pursuits, too. That includes three friends she has recently gotten very close to—Margo, Agnes, and Edith. These friends are a trio of chickens which she keeps in the backyard after taking a course through Bedford Recreation on Backyard Chickening.  They arrived just as the pandemic began and have been providing daily eggs ever since. “They have distinctive personalities,” Speciale laughed. “Margo is bossiest and Agnes competes constantly to be #1.  Edith is the chill one and stays above the fray.”  If arguments break out there is always Rosebud, their Border Collie, to help sort things out.

The professionalizing of the staff of The Citizen is an important and necessary step in maintaining the quality of its reporting and ensuring that resources are wisely deployed in the service of its core mission: informed citizen participation. Maybe you have some interest in knowing more about The Citizen and how you might contribute towards its success – we’d love to hear from you! Please contact ginni.spencer@verizon.net for more information.

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